Africa Development Bank Launches $111M VC Fund

The African Development Bank has launched a $111.1 million venture capital fund, New Africa Mining Fund II. The fund, which will focus on mining projects, held a $73.6 million first close in January, and includes investments from Development Bank of Southern Africa, International Finance Cooperation, Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets, and DEG KFW Bankengruppe.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Regional Office in South Africa (ZAFO) represented by Eva Ruganzu, Country Programme Officer and Hussein Iman, Chief Investment Officer, participated at the launch of New Africa Mining Fund’s (NAMF) Second Africa-Focused Junior Venture Capital Fund, NAMF II on Wednesday 2 February 2011 in Johannesburg.

The Bank approved a USD 25-million equity investment in the second New Africa Mining Fund (NAMF II) in July 2010 and the Fund Agreement was concluded on 17 December 2010. The NAMF II is an equity fund that invests in mining projects within the SADC Region.

With a total commitment of USD 111.1million, NAMF II achieved its first close on 31 January 2011 for USD 73.6 million including AfDB’s USD 14.7 million contribution. The other investors are; Development Bank of Southern Africa, International Finance Cooperation, Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets; and DEG KFW Bankengruppe.’

New Africa Mining Fund (NAMF) Principal, Neil Gardyne says: ‘By NAMF II’s second closing on 31 January 2012 we hope to have a total commitment of up to US$300 million; a priority for us between now and then is to attract more investors of the caliber of those already committed. Like its highly successful predecessor, NAMF I, NAMF II looks to provide risk capital for junior mining companies with projects in Africa, that can demonstrate a minimum 35% return on investment. All mineral types, except diamonds and uranium, will be considered.

NAMF II focuses on the upstream stages of the mining investment cycle where value creation is highest – primarily exploration and pre-development activities by junior and intermediate companies. The Fund will invest over 5 years and will have a life of 8 years. The Fund’s investment will facilitate growth and expansion in Greenfield projects across the SADC Region, thus developing companies in the private sector and promoting growth in a sustainable manner through its Governance Code and Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS). NAMF II is therefore well aligned with Bank strategy and regional priorities.

‘Africa is well endowed with the mineral resources that will be in growing demand over the next two decades by emerging economies such as China and India; NAMF has proved it has what it takes to indentify and support African mining projects that will produce successfully for such markets; contribute positively to socio-economic development in their host countries; and deliver attractive returns to our investors,’ Gardyne says.